The Crown Prosecution Service asked for a court case to be reopened so a man could withdraw his guilty plea given a few minutes earlier to a public order offence.
Sam Pattison (21), who is already serving two suspended prison sentence orders, admitted swearing in the street near to his home in West Street, Bourne, when a woman neighbour challenged him at 1.30am on August 29.
Tracey Ross, prosecuting, said police acknowledge there are a lot of issues between residents at a block of flats.
She said: “It is being dealt with by various agencies, but they don’t get on.”
Miss Ross said residents at the flats heard Pattison shouting and swearing at one of the occupants.
Pattison admitted as much to police and entered a guilty plea in court.
But he told magistrates: “The girl followed me around the corner and was physically pushing me with her hands and saying ‘come on big man, hit me.”
He said he had attended a probation course and, before doing that, he might have hit back but instead just swore and told her to go away.
“I just didn’t think there was any other way I could have dealt with the situation,” he said. “I just don’t want to go to prison, that’s all, I have got two young children.”
Pattison said he was progressing well with probation and that was confirmed by court probation officer Chris Payne, who said he had a 77 per cent attendance, which was “pretty good by our standards”.
Mr Payne said there were problems with non-attendance early on in the order, but now he’s complying, coping and engaging with the process and there’s a lot of good progress reports.
On the basis of the probation service report, Miss Ross asked for the case to be re-opened so his plea could be vacated and withdrew the charge, which means there is no conviction.
Magistrates agreed that was the best course of action.
But presiding magistrate Gill Wild warned Pattison to be careful in future, saying he could have reacted differently by “maybe not swearing”.
Mrs Wild told Pattison: “You have got two children, you have got responsibilities.
“You have got two suspended sentences there, even more reason to keep yourself clean.”